Away All Boats
|Away All Boats|
Original film poster by Reynold Brown
|Directed by||Joseph Pevney|
|Produced by||Howard Christie|
|Written by||Ted Sherdeman|
|Based on||novel by Kenneth M. Dodson|
|Music by||Frank Skinner
|Cinematography||William H. Daniels
in Technicolor and VistaVision
|Edited by||Ted J. Kent|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|August 16, 1956|
|Box office||$3.5 million (US)|
Away All Boats is a 1956 American war film produced by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Joseph Pevney and produced by Howard Christie from a screenplay by Ted Sherdeman based on the 1953 novel by Kenneth M. Dodson.
Dodson (1907–1999) served on the USS Pierce (APA 50) in World War II and used his experiences there as a guide for his novel. He was encouraged in his writing by Carl Sandburg, who had read some of Dodson’s letters written from the Pacific.
The film is about the crew of the Belinda (APA-22), a fictional amphibious attack transport. The movie was filmed aboard the USS Sanborn. It is most notable for its realistic and terrifying depictions of Japanese kamikaze attacks on U.S. Navy ships during the last year of World War II in the Pacific Theatre.
Universal received the full cooperation of the U.S. Navy, including an opportunity to photograph maneuvers and mock attacks in March 1955 in the Caribbean and on Vieques. The Navy also granted a two-week leave of absence for Ralph Scalzo, a landing boat coxswain, who was needed for added closeup shots.
The first choice for Chandler's role was Clark Gable who turned the film down.
Clint Eastwood's role is a brief speaking one (with one line of dialog spoken by another actor), as a Navy Medical Corpsman assisting the ship's captain after he is severely wounded while trying to save his ship.
A review in the New York Times by Bosley Crowther found the early scenes in the movie confusing, particularly the motivation of the characters played by Jeff Chandler (Captain Jebediah Hawks) and Lex Barker (Commander Quigley). He also found the movie an efficient service film in which “all the confusions are adjusted and everybody comes out a hero in the end”.
The script, script revisions, and status reports dealing with the Department of Defense Film and Television liaison office is kept in the Georgetown University Library Department of Defense Film Collection.
NBC made a color documentary about the making of the movie.
A record with some of Frank Skinner’s music from the movie was released by Decca Records in May 1956. Participants included Al Hibbler (who sang a theme from the film score) and an orchestra conducted by Jack Pleis. Decca released this on 78 rpm 29950 and 45 rpm 9-29950.
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1956', Variety Weekly, January 2, 1957
- Mooney, James L., editor, "The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Volume IV', Naval History Division, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C., 1976, Library of Congress card number 60-60198, page 304.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (September 2010)|
- Dodson, Kenneth. Away All Boats, Little, Brown and Company, December 1953.
- Crowther, Bosley. “Screen: Away All Boats”, New York Times, August 17, 1956, p. 14.
- Shenk, Robert; “Away All Boats” in Jill B. Gidmark. Encyclopedia of American Literature of the Sea and Great Lakes. p. 26, Greenwood, 2001. (A description of the novel on which the movie was based).